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Hairball stage helpers injured, killed in crash

By Staff | Jul 8, 2016

Two men who helped put together the stage for the band Hairball’s performance at the Pierce County Fair were victims of a rollover crash in Kidder County last week.

At 5:40 a.m. on July 2, a 2006 Frieghtliner straight truck driven by 22-year-old James Whitney of Grand Forks, with 45-year-old Neon Caldwell, of Jacksonville, Fla., as a passenger, was heading south on Highway 3 nine miles north of Steele. The truck proceeded to travel partially off of the road on the west side, then traveled across the roadway toward and into the east ditch where it overturned.

Caldwell was pronounced dead at the scene. Whitney was transported to Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, with non-life threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation by the N.D. Highway Patrol.

Hairball played in Mandan the night after their performance in Rugby.

“Our Hairball team is certainly upset and praying for all involved,” Melissa L. Kucirek, Hairball’s public relations contact, said to the Tribune.

The two men were employees of HB Sound & Light, a company with offices in Grand Forks and Fargo.

Pierce County Fair Board president Don Jelsing said fair board members did not meet the men until they came to Rugby, however news of the accident was a surprise.

“It was certainly a shock to us,” Jelsing said of the accident that killed Caldwell. “It was as if we already got to know him as a good friend of the fair.”

– Tribune Staff Report

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